Harry took a Potions course while getting his Masters in Charms. He did it out of spite, to prove to his former professor Severus bloody Snape (and himself, although that was secondary) that he wasn’t a lost cause.
And he wasn't.
Harry was overjoyed when he got an Exceeds Expectations. But something was still missing. The ‘something’ in question was his deepest desire to rub his achievement into Severus Snape’s nose. (Or really just see him.)
Of course he didn’t have any way of bringing it up in a casual conversation with the man, what with their paths not crossing for over three years. (It had been driving Harry mad not to constantly see the arrogant bastard, hear his silky voice or stare at his Adam Driver quality sneers.)
Therefore Harry did the only reasonable thing he could think of on short notice. He applied for a second Potions course and reached out to Snape.
He knew Snape never bothered with useless niceties, so neither did Harry as he put together his request.
Professor Snape, Harry wrote in his letter, I hope it would not be too much of an inconvenience to ask for your help with a Potions course I am about to start in two months.
If anyone read this, they might have criticized the lack of polite greeting. Harry, though, wasn't born yesterday. Straight to the point was the best tactic while dealing with Severus Snape.
We could meet up in muggle London, he continued, if that’s agreeable with you.
The papers were still aggressively following Harry around after the fall of Voldemort. But he knew Snape to be a private person and hopefully this would sway the man to meet with him.
In other words, Harry attempted some good old Slytherin machinations. The Sorting Hat might have been correct after all. He would have done well in Slytherin.
I am available every weekend. Name a time and a place and I will be there.
Maybe at Starbucks? It's hipster enough that we wouldn't look completely out of place, in case someone spots our wands.
Sincerely, Harry Potter
There. With the letter finished and sent out with Hedwig (before he lost his nerve), Harry waited with bated breath for a reply.
Surely Snape would jump on a chance to show off his excellence and talent while criticising Harry’s abysmal (or so Snape would think right until they met) Potions knowledge.
Hedwig returned home an hour later without any parchment. But that was okay. Snape could have been busy marking essays.
“He’ll answer us soon,” said Harry, patting her lightly on the head. “Have some treats, girl. You’ve been on the road for so long.”
Harry gave Hedwig a few pieces of her favourite treat — butter biscuits. They were Harry’s favourite too.
When there was still no answer by the following morning, Harry wondered if perhaps he shouldn't have used words like ‘Starbucks’ and ‘hipsters.’
On the second day he was simply livid. The tosser could have at least declined to meet him like a civilised person.
Three days later a reply arrived with a black owl that Harry was sure sneered at him on sight.
Mister Potter, said the note and Harry was once again reminded of Snape’s (and the Half-Blood Prince's) neat writing and how much he missed it, I will see you on Saturday the thirteenth of July, at two in the afternoon. Starbucks by London Bridge Station.
As to the other part of your letter. Do not under any circumstances show your wand to muggles. Even hipsters.
I cannot stress the issue enough.
This is something you ought to have learned your first year of Hogwarts. Or at the very least Miss Granger would have mentioned this crucial bit of information to you by now.
Harry was so happy, he forgot to give Snape’s owl a treat.
The bird tapped impatiently at his table until he presented her with a piece of butter biscuit. Then, the owl promptly sneered at the treat that was offered but still ate it.
Snape must be spoiling her. Or maybe the owl was related to him somehow.
Speaking of Snape, Harry felt rather exasperated over this whole thing.
Who the hell keeps a bloke waiting for three days before answering?
Not that this was a date or anything. Harry simply almost lost his mind waiting for a reply on an important correspondence like any person would.
He took a deep breath, gave the owl another piece of butter biscuit and re-read the letter, his nerves calming down a notch.
He was going to see Snape. Finally after all this time.
As an afterthought, Harry realised he should have taken a Potions class earlier. Much earlier.
Better late than never, he decided and clutched the parchment in his hand tightly to his heart.
This was a dream come true.
What Harry meant was of course only that he was going to get his revenge by showing Snape he was rather good at Potions. Right? Nothing suspicious about that.
Saturday couldn't come early enough.
I wonder what he's going to wear? Harry wondered.
His face heated up remembering Snape walking the halls of Hogwarts in long, black robes. He seemed intimidating and well, thrilling, Harry supposed.
Harry was neither. And so his thoughts promptly drifted off to whether or not he should get a new shirt for the occasion.
Perhaps in Slytherin green.
Snug enough to show off a bit of muscle he accumulated at the gym. (Harry didn’t want to be an Auror, but he did enjoy physical exercise a lot. The violence-free routines at the gym was exactly what he needed.)
It wasn’t cheating to stack the deck slightly in his favour, Harry thought.
He’d heard people commenting on his arms before. Not that he himself cared much about how he looked. He was more preoccupied with how Snape looked. Unfortunately, there were hardly any photos in the papers.
Snape never left Hogwarts. That was why Harry had to take the Potions course. To have the possibility of seeing the man.
Therefore, with this one and only chance of meeting Snape, Harry needed to look his best. A trip to the mall and possibly a hairdresser was much needed.
But before doing any of that, still high on all the endorphins the letter brought him, Harry scribbled out a quick response.
Don’t worry, I wasn't going to show my wand to any of them.
When the owl disappeared with his note, Harry couldn't help but wonder if what he wrote sounded rather scandalous.
Was this a date?
He wasn't sure how he felt about it. (Might have been a lie right there.) He was even less sure if Snape would understand what Harry accidentally blurted out in writing form.
He had his answer not two hours later.
Potter, the letter wasn't a howler but sure felt like one, have you lost your bloody mind, to insinuate these sort of things to someone twice your age?
Well, that didn't sound like a rejection did it?
Harry might have been originally destined for Slytherin, but he spent eight years in Gryffindor. He could do this.
Only one way to find out. Meet me on Saturday, Harry wrote back, and gave Snape’s owl a piece of home baked apple tart, receiving more sneers in return.
The blasted bird wasn't spoiled, just infuriating, Harry thought as he watched the creature devouring every last crumb of the apple tart with quite the appetite.
“You remind me of someone else I know,” said Harry with a smile and offered the owl more treats.